“When the ego sleeps, the mind plays.”
Isla Short is bringing Juliana to the cross-country World Cup circuit for the first time this season. Growing up in a passionate cycling family and discovering racing through her dad as a young teen, the young Scot set her sights set on racing. But her love for the bike is rooted much deeper. “It makes my job very sustainable because I love the bike in so many forms and I’ll never fall out of love with the concept of a big old bike ride!
2020 was a breakthrough season for Isla as she established herself at the front of the international cross-country racing scene, taking 5th at World Champs in Leogang. But health had a big impact on her 2021 season and, like many of us, she fought her way through. This year she is ready to face her goals head on and break into the Top 10 at a World Cup. “A podium is also realistic - the only thing between me and the box is confidence so I’m excited to tackle that.”
While Isla rarely has a day off between juggling training and running her own race setup, she tries to find ways to relax off the bike and squeeze in “me time” activities. “I love a good cafe, I play the clarsach (Scottish harp), read a lot and I’ve just begun my venture into gardening and growing my own veg.”
What would you be doing if you weren’t racing bikes?
"I’d almost definitely have found another sport that allows me to sustain the adrenalin fix I need to feel fulfilled. Ultra running has always appealed to me and I think I’ll probably have a go at that when I retire from bike racing. I’m happiest in the hills exerting myself!"
Photos by // Pete Scullion